During the financial crisis of 2008, The Washington Post reported that “the flow of money through critical parts of the financial system all but stopped ... as banks lost faith in one another” (“Markets in Disarray as Lending Locks Up,” Sept. 18).
Critical times need to be approached with the greatest wisdom that individuals and governments can muster. But beneath the surface, such challenges present an opportunity to deepen our understanding of God’s presence and power in our lives.
The Bible tells of a woman named Hagar who was forced out of the comfort and security of her home. She and her young son wandered in a desert where resources seemed nonexistent. The situation appeared hopeless, but at Hagar’s moment of deepest anguish, the voice of God brought reassurance. The Bible says that “God opened her eyes” (Genesis 21:19). She then saw a well of water that she hadn’t seen before, and she and her son survived and prospered.
Many people have found that life’s challenges often indicate a need to have our eyes opened – to have our spiritual understanding opened more fully to the presence of tangible spiritual good that we hadn’t seen before. The distress produced by difficult circumstances often awakens a deeper desire for this understanding – and this desire is a prayer that God answers. As Monitor founder Mary Baker Eddy wrote, “The unspoken desire does bring us nearer the source of all existence and blessedness” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 2).
The source of all existence is God, who is infinite Love. The nature of Love is to give, to continuously impart unlimited spiritual goodness to creation. As God’s children, we mirror the nature of God as Love. We can’t be separated from Love or from Love’s constant care. Love continuously blesses us by expressing its own goodness in us, and that expression, the flow and supply of good and useful ideas, is ongoing. It can no more slow down or “lock up” than the rays of the sun can become sluggish or be prevented from shining.
In the global economy, various circumstances – including fear and loss of faith in financial institutions and the economy – threaten to stop the flow of money, affecting not just commerce and industry but individuals and nations. But “the source of all existence,” the God who governs all, hasn’t changed. God’s flow of good – of life, wisdom, and peace – isn’t subject to human willfulness or to random circumstances. God reigns in His wholly spiritual creation, and whatever contradicts God’s goodness and control isn’t an opposing reality but a misconception of God and creation. It’s a mental mistake, which can appear to be solid. But a mistake always can be corrected through prayer.
In the God-ordered universe, the only one there really is, there’s no distrust or fear to paralyze the normal activity and flow of good. Dishonest or unwise practices have no source and cannot stand. The spiritual beings God creates and loves always express the Mind that makes them. They mirror the integrity of divine Principle, the absolute honesty of divine Truth, the wisdom of divine intelligence. They have the Mind that is in Christ, the Mind that is Love. And the Bible says, “There is no fear in love” (I John 4:18).
Through prayer we can discern more of God’s wholeness, the harmonious action of Life itself, and the abundant goodness that comes with discerning the spiritual truth of everything, including all the elements of an economic system. Every individual, every child of God, is in fact fully provided for, because good is fully in control, fully present in our lives.
As spiritual understanding grows in us, what is true spiritually becomes visible. We can’t be conscious of the presence of divine good without seeing evidence of that reality in our lives. In proportion as this understanding informs and inspires our prayers, those prayers will help bring harmony to the human family. They will help support the stabilizing efforts of governments and more evenly meet the needs of people worldwide.
Reprinted from the September 23, 2008, issue of The Christian Science Monitor.